On September 10, 2017, the race for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s most coveted prize, will continue during the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament in Alberta, Canada.
Earlier on in July, the world watched Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet and the 11-year-old Westfalen mare Coree (Cornet Obolensky x Liberty Life) win the first major of the year in the Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* at CHIO Aachen. Now, for the second major of the year, the world’s leading horse and rider combinations will make their way to Calgary to challenge the current contender for the elusive title.
40 combinations will vie for the winning purse in the CP ‘International’, most recently won by Great Britain’s Scott Brash and the now 16-year-old SHBGB mare Ursula XII (AHORN x Papageno) in 2016. A year prior, Brash became the first rider in history to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping after securing back to back wins in the December 2014 CHI Geneva, July 2015 CHIO Aachen, and the September 13 CP ‘International’.
Brash joined Rodrigo Pessoa as the only other rider to have captured back-to-back wins in the ‘Masters’ Grand Prix in Calgary. This year, he will strive to further his legacy by becoming the first person to win the event on three consecutive occasions.
“It will take three outstanding rounds to win the Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows,” said Brash. “Everything has to go right, you have to ride right, the horse has to jump well and of course you need a bit of luck on the day as well.”
Canadian native Eric Lamaze is hoping that the support of his home town will give him the advantage in Calgary, where he aims to emulate his 2007 and 2011 victories aboard the legendary Hickstead.
“As you continue to proceed through the course, it gets louder and louder. As a rider, I’ve never heard anything like it and the horses feel it,” said Lamaze. “The weekend of the ‘Masters’ gives you a chill when you come in to the ring. You want to put in a clear round to hear that crowd come to life.”
Beginning in 2018, The Dutch Masters, one of the sport’s most thrilling indoor shows, joins this elite list as one of the four stages that comprise the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, giving riders an additional opportunity to take home this momentous prize.